The Significance of Customer Journey Maps and Its Impact on Marketing

Understanding consumer behaviors and their experiences and journey in their purchase decision-making process are critical to building connections between brands and customers and cultivating meaningful customer relationships.  Customer journeys entail customers’ experiences and touchpoints before, during, and after completing their purchases when they engage and interact with a brand, enabling businesses to understand their customers better to provide products and services that satisfy their desires, needs, and wants.

Customer journey maps are visual roadmaps that help marketers identify customer journeys to improve their experiences with the brand.  They visually illustrate the customer’s perceptions, needs, and processes to understand its actions in interacting with the brand.  According to Statista’s Research Department 2016 survey about customer experience optimization, 74% of respondents surveyed considered customer journey mapping a high valuable data-related function for customer experience optimization.  Customer journey maps provide the following benefits:

Customer Journey Map Benefits

Improve Customer Experiences and Retention Rate:
Customer journey maps enable marketers to examine a customer’s journey with a brand and identify pain points or interactions that require action to improve the customer’s experience.  They allow marketers to discover and anticipate when customers experience positive and negative interactions and develop strategies to enhance the customer’s experience and retention rate and maximize their perception of the brand’s value. 

Customer journey maps reveal moments of truth that impact the customer’s decision-making process towards investing in and moving towards the brand.  Moreover, they also allow marketers to determine opportunities to improve strategies and efforts to maximize their return on investment. 

Attain Customer Insights:
Customer journey maps help identify customer attitudes, behaviors, perspectives, touchpoints, and experiences to understand customer expectations better to reach business goals.  Customer journey maps help marketers discover and understand triggers that influence customer behaviors that cause them to take specific actions at various touchpoints throughout their journey when interacting with the brand.

Optimize Budgets and Resources:
Customer journey maps help businesses optimize their budget and allocate their resources toward developing strategies and making necessary changes to improve customer experiences and maximize profitability.

Encourages an Inbound Marketing Perspective:
Creating customer journey maps enables marketers to capture the customer’s attention by creating appealing, meaningful content, helpful, and relevant information that customers are seeking. 

Customer Journey Map Feature: IKEA

IKEA, a Swedish multinational designer and furniture retailer of home good and accessories, appliances, and ready-to-assemble furniture, expanded their customer journey map to capture their customer’s attention and provide an engaging and interactive experience and interaction with the brand by bringing their customer journey map to life and creating a real-life experience. 

IKEA recreated its customer journey map by strategically implementing floorplans that include room segmentation and room displays with featured items placed conveniently to generate touchpoints that provide the brand opportunities to engage with its customers to cultivate a custom personalized shopping experience.  For instance, IKEA purposefully implemented a maze-like floor plan that allows customers to see every product they have available to consider for purchase and enables them to undergo their shopping experience at their leisure while navigating through various displays and showrooms in their floorplan. 

IKEA also emphasizes cultivating the interactions between the brand and its customers by focusing on perspective and providing customers opportunities to imagine, dream, and envision their ideal living space, which increases the likelihood customers will purchase their products and, therefore, increase their conversions.      

Key Takeaway

The essential tips to consider when developing a compelling map of the customer journey include:

Clearly defining marketing goals, create customer personas, and narrow the focus of a customer journey to reach specified goals and objectives.

Identify touchpoints where customers interact with the brand to provide insights about their actions in their interactions with the brand.

Identify customer behaviors, motivational and emotional influences that drive their actions throughout the customer journey to provide the customer with the appropriate content at the right time to ensure a smooth process throughout their interactions and customer journey with the brand.

Building customer relationships and connections between the brand and its customers effectively require defining marketing goals and objectives and identifying targeted customers by creating customer personas and customer journey maps that enable marketers to implement the right strategies to provide customers with a personalized experience across all touchpoints throughout the customer journey, customer lifecycle, and phases in their purchase decision-making process.  Customer journey maps aid marketers in gaining insights and a better understanding about customers and their interactions with the brand because it tells marketers a story by portraying a visual roadmap of their experience across all touchpoints in their interactions with the brand.  Marketers must optimize customer experiences to increase customer satisfaction and sales, maximize profitability, and produce optimal results.         

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References:
Agius, A. (2021, February 11). How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map [Examples + Template]. HubSpot Blog. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-journey-map. 

Fontanella, C. (2020, February 6). 20 Customer Touchpoints That Will Optimize Your Customer Journey. HubSpot Blog. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-touchpoints. 

Guttmann, A. (2016, December 8). Value of data-related functions for customer experience optimization 2016. Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/683357/data-related-functions-customer-experience-usa/. 

Magazine, B. T., Magazine, B. T., & Magazine, B. T. (2019, July 17). How IKEA Flawlessly Brings The Customer Journey Mapping To Life. B&T. https://www.bandt.com.au/ikea-flawlessly-brings-customer-journey-mapping-life/.

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